This lively and original book examines the notion that the realist novel reinforces existing social structures through its techniques of representation. Michiel Heyns depicts the nineteenth-century literary scapegoat - the ostensible victim of the expulsive pressure of plot - as begetter of an alternative vision, questioning the values apparently upheld by the novel as a whole. Novels, like communities, need scapegoats to rid them of their
unexpressed anxieties. This has placed the realist novel under suspicion of collaborating with established authority, by reproducing the very structures it often seeks to criticize. Expulsion and the
Nineteenth-Century Novel investigates this charge through close and illuminating readings of five realist novels of the nineteenth century: Austen's Mansfield Park, Dickens's Our Mutual Friend, Eliot's Daniel Deronda, Conrad's Lord Jim, and James's The Golden Bowl. Michiel Heyns looks at these works in relation to one another, to their literary and social contexts, and to modern critical thinking. Sceptical of
unexamined abstractions, but appreciative of the acumen of much recent criticism, this book places the realist novel in the centre of current debates, while yet respecting the power of literature to anticipate the insights of the its critics.
`Highly recommended for all collections serving upper-division undergraduates and above.'
Choice Vol 33 no 1
`amything but narrow in scope or trivial in importance. In fact it's a wonderful book, beautifully written, ambitious, and filled throughout with large and small insights that should be of interest to all students not just of nineteenth century fiction, but of the more general relations between literature and the cultures within which it is produced...Expulsion and the Nineteenth-Century Novel offers pleasures and insights quite apart from its central
thesis. Heyns is a graceful writer who belies the argument that theoretically sophisticated analysis must necessarily be jargon-ridden or obscure. He's also pretty funny, in a polite, cultured sort of way.'
`Michael Heyns manages something tricky with remarkable tact ... Expulsion and the Nineteenth-Century Novel is a rich, complex, rewarding book, full of provocative and persuasive ideas.'
Nicola Bradbury, University of Reading, Review of English Studies, Vol. XLVIII, No. 189, Feb '97
`many of his assertions and close readings are both well supported and illuminating'
Donald E. Hall, California State University, Northridge, MLR, 92.2, 1997
`The real strength of Expulsion and the Nineteenth-Century Novel is its careful and nuanced insistence on the palpably different process of scapegoating to be observed among and within authors. ... powerful and provocative book.'
Victorian Studies, Summer 1996